And when you equal Michael Schumacher’s record of 91 Grand Prix wins you deserve something special other than being sprayed with Champagne on the stadium. Lewis Hamilton who pulled off that stunning achievement this weekend at Nürburgring, Germany, celebrated on the podium sporting one of Schumacher’s famous red helmets, poignantly presented by his son Mick. Still in recovery since his skiing accident in 2013, Michael himself couldn’t be there, but had anticipated it years ago when Hamilton won his first title in 2008. “Records are there to be broken”.
– Most wins record matched by Lewis
– Most starts record matched by Kimi
– First podium for Renault in nine years
– Nine teams in the points
– #Hulkenback 2.0
– Grosjean getting points with a broken finger
– Lando in a deckchair
— Formula 1 (@F1) October 12, 2020
It has taken Hamilton 261 races to equal the icon and legend Schumacher. He has driven with two teams; 21 wins with McLaren whom he joined as a 22 year old in 2007 and now with Mercedes. Lewis had taken the lead from his teammate Valtteri Bottas, who had won the Eifel GP pole position, before the Finn had to retire with an engine problem. Hamilton then ruthlessly proceeded to finish the race focussed on producing clinical sequences of laps worthy of a metronome. It is never as easy as it appears, though. Red Bull’s young Verstappen was always a threat and chased to the end having found some real pace closing the gap on Hamilton to just over two seconds after being five seconds behind. Verstappen snatched the bonus point for the fastest lap!
Hamilton was not alone in celebrating. Australian Daniel Ricciardo claimed his first podium finish since 2018 and his first since moving to Renault.
If records are there to be broken, it may be the young guns Verstappen and Charles Leclerc that eventually attempt to take the new mantel now worn by Hamilton.
Leclerc Still Driving Brilliantly
Leclerc was brilliant in qualifying fourth despite the disadvantage of a Ferrari racing machine that this season has lost its mojo. That special talent is waiting to burst to the top when the right car arrives. The 22-year-old is absolutely out-performing team-mate Sebastian Vettel in 2020. Leclerc is now nine-two up in the lead, an analysis of their qualifying head-to-head results shows. His average advantage of 0.37 seconds is twice what it was last year. But seventh-place finish in Sunday’s Eifel GP was the best result Leclerc could achieve in a race “massively” compromised by his opening laps disadvantaged by soft tyres.
Seventh today. Nice overtakes and I fought until the end but it wasn't enough. No regrets, I gave it all 💯 pic.twitter.com/YaREyi48av
— Charles Leclerc (@Charles_Leclerc) October 11, 2020
Seven World Championships
The remainder of the season is primed to see more history in the making. Schumacher’s greatest record of seven world championships is now all but in Hamilton’s grasp. He has six already and leads Bottas with a maximum of six races remaining.
The Schumacher Family on @LewisHamilton winning his 91st GP, equalling Michael’s record: Big congrats, an impressive achievement of a great driver. We cannot deny we would have loved for Michael to hold those records, but as he always used to say: records are there to be broken. pic.twitter.com/xDRhVp5HVf
— Michael Schumacher (@schumacher) October 11, 2020
Eifel GP Results
First – Hamilton, Mercedes
Second – Verstappen, Red Bull
Third – Ricciardo, Renault
And there was one other record equalling event at the weekend. Rafael Nadal produced yet another of his supreme French Open displays to out-play Novak Djokovic and equal Roger Federer’s record of 20 Grand Slam men’s titles – bagelling Djokovic with a 6-0 set in the process!
Spanish second seed Nadal absolutely stunned world number one Djokovic in this 6-0 6-2 7-5 win, which clinched for him a history-making 13th title at Roland Garros.